Ah, summer! It’s the time of all times for indoor and outdoor home entertaining. It’s also an opportune season to entertain the idea of a little – or a lot of- home improvement action. And when it comes to shopping alternatives for the betterment of our homes and gardens, the collective “we” who live in and around Dallas have it made in the shade.
Everywhere you turn, including the pages herein, inspiration abounds with elements to enhance home living (and entertaining) environments of every description. Already, you’ve probably been harboring a lifetime of ideas on home design projects – from a behind-the-scenes closet make-over to a first-impression, front entrance facelift.
And how many evenings have you found yourself fuming and steaming in a kitchen designed with June Cleaver in mind, while friends kindly entertained themselves in the next room? How many early-morning cups of coffee have you consumed while dreaming of transforming your proverbial patio plot into a more congenial spot – a place where home goes spilling into the outdoors rather than abruptly stopping at a sliding-glass threshold? And how often have you blushingly ushered a guest toward the hall bath – you know, the one with wallpaper that screams early Seventies and fixtures that seem to moan and groan with a will of their own?
The design dreamer’s list goes on. Butthankfully, so does Dallas’ offering of servicesand solutions for enhancing every area of thatplace that’s uniquely you – home.
A few lips on where to begin. For starters (especially if you’re a die-hard do-it-yourselfer like most of us), explore the streets. the Yellow Pages, and those worn pages of magazine-paper ideas you’ve been saving for “someday.” It’s there you’ll find most every product and service imaginable from our city’s wealth of home and garden retailers -experts on everything from landscape design to bath and kitchen remodeling. And don’t hesitate to ask for advice. You can always take it or leave it. Most likely though, you’ll find helpful professionals happy to inform you of their products, as well as to assist in the design and implementation of your plan.
And what if you don’t have confidence in your plan? Or, you don’t really have one to speak of? Many retailers have designers on stuff for that very purpose, or at least they’ll be happy to help you with a list of qualified references. Today’s home and garden experts match professional insight with the glimmer of your idea, and then bring it to light.
More design direction. Also, an increasing number of professional men and women are relying directly on the services of interior designers. The designer is called on. not always to oversee a home’s design from start to finish, but at least to play the valuable role of helping a client gel off on the right foot before dashing off in the do-it-yourself direction.
When budget is an obstacle, interior designer Arlis Ede of Arlis Ede Interiors offers sage advice: “The less money you have to spend, the more valuable planning becomes. You can’t afford to make mistakes.”
Ede has been making designs on Dallas since 1952. A member of the national board of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Ede strongly recommends starting with a master plan. It may be a year or years in the implementation, but the plan is always there – ready and willing to be fulfilled, modified, or even adapted to a totally new setting.
Key: To thine own self be true. Home is where you live. From there, play out your wildest design fantasies, however sparse or splendid. If you don’t live alone, and you and yours don’t always agree on aesthetics (“you say tomayto. I say tomahto”) – don’t call the whole thing off. The compromise that follows is still bound to be intriguing, and distinctly “you two.”
“A home’s interior should be a reflection of those who live there.” remarks interior designer Beth Johnson Clark of Beth Johnson Interiors. Since 1980. Clark has been listening to clients dream their designs out loud – a dream interpreter of sorts. Addressing that all-important issue of budget, she emphasizes that when the time comes to make decisions on elements more costly and critical to the scheme of things, it’s important that dollars be wisely spent. “It’s not always a time for immediate gratification,” she says in other words. “I’d rather see people wail to be able to buy things they really love, even if it means a wall that’s blank for a year or two. than to buy something that serves only as a stopgap solution.’
If, however, your state of mind is up for a little immediate gratification fix on the home front, you are in the right city at the right time. Pick a project: Update your home’s storage spaces; organize your home office: create an outdoor “living room”; recover the cushions of your antique kitchen chairs; lighten up the look of your living areas with furnishings at home in our sunny. Southwestern climate; go for the pool and garden fountain you’ve dreamed of for years.
As summer settles in. it reminds us of the pleasures just beyond our doors and windows. Yet with a little creativity and proper planning, a good home design can integrate the best of both the outdoors and the indoors, regardless of the season.
Point yourself in the design direction of your dreams, and count on Dallas by Design to help get you there!
Creating healthy and ecologically sound living environments is an issue of growing concern and interest in the Nineties.
The subject is certainly on the minds of professionals in the world of interior design. “GeoPerspeelives: Designing For One World” is the theme of this years American Society of Interior Designers national conference in Denver, Colorado. July 17 to 20. If you have the time, and the money, the conference is also open to non-members, as well as to students.
Keynote speaker Jeffrey Hollender. author of the best-selling book “How to Make the World a Better Place: A Guide to Doing Good.” will address ASID conference attendees on the importance of investigating and learning about environmentally sensitive products.
GeoPerspectives workshops and educational sessions will cover such topics as relationship!!! between human ecology and the built environment: interior air quality and health effects in commercial and residential environments; and the process of selecting and specifying materials, furnishings, finishes, lighting, and appliances in the context of environmental sensitivity.
For more information, call the ASM) national office at (202) 546-3480 or FAX (202) 546-3240.